Should I Build or Buy My Next Home?

By Danny Chadwick
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It’s no secret that the housing market has been up and down in the United States in the past few years. One thing that hasn’t changed since the bubble burst is the fact that people need places to live, and when you decide it’s time for a new home, one of the first choices you have to make is whether you want to purchase an existing home or build a new one from the ground up. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Building advantage
Building your own home gives you the distinct advantage of being in complete control over every aspect of your new home. This enables you to customize it to your specific needs and wants. Moreover, everything in the home will be new, so you won’t have to worry about replacing a hot water heater or fixing a foundation after you buy a home with years of wear and tear.

Building a house may also be advantageous if you employ construction estimation software during the design phase of your building project. This software will estimate, in advance, how much you’re spending and how much you would spend over purchasing an existing home of a similar size.

Building disadvantage
Building a home is generally a much longer proposition than buying. Buying a home usually takes anywhere from a month to six weeks to complete once an offer has been settled. Depending on the time of year and the location where you want to build, the process of building your own house could range from four months to over a year. If you need a house that’s ready to move into in the short term, consider renting a house or apartment while you put together all the tools you need to build your dream home.

Buying advantage
With the housing economy the way it is, it really is a buyer’s market. Foreclosed homes can be bought for pennies on the dollar if you have good credit. And as the market recovers and home prices go up, the investment made on these homes will have a great deal of equity and amazing resale value. Furthermore, it’s unlikely that you will be able to find a plot of land to build on in an already existing neighborhood. Therefore, if you want to live in a specific neighborhood, unless you get in at the very early stages of development, buying an existing home may be your only option.

Buying disadvantage
Buying a used home is a lot like buying a used car, you never really know how long all the components will last. Even if an inspection turns up nothing to be concerned about, the foundation, water heater or stove could reach its limit and require replacement. Furthermore, because you had no say in how the home was designed or laid out, an existing structure forces you to conform to its layout instead of the other way around. You’ll never be able to find the perfect house for yourself, even though you may come close.

Summary
No matter whether you decide to build or buy a new home, it’s an exciting process and opens the doors to a new future. Building a new home allows you to create a home exactly the way you want it, but takes a long time, and while buying an existing home is faster and a smart investment, you’ll never be able to foresee possible problems with the property.

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